Old

 

 

 

Some days, for no apparent reason, I feel young and sprightly. Of course, there probably are reasons, such as exercising and drinking enough water. But on other days…

 

Leave it to the young to make a gal feel old. Just last week, I heard from a friend whose partner gave birth to their first child. I don’t want to name names or give specifics, but said friend is a sexagenarian! He mentioned how he’s feeling old, but I’m guessing a lot of that has to do with sleepless nights with a newborn. Photos of his gorgeous daughter brought joy to my eyes. And then I had to squint a bit to fully appreciate the pics. I didn’t know where my glasses were, because I haven’t yet resorted to wearing the bejeweled chain around my neck to keep my specs close at hand. So squint, I did. That, friends, felt old.

 

And now my calendar tells me that the son of another friend is about to turn 17. When did that happen? I lovingly refer to the kid as my name-sake, even though the spellings of our names are different and I’m quite sure our names have nothing to do with one another, but still. I call him that and he doesn’t know about it so I figure no harm is done. And now he’s a year away from voting. Wow. Just yesterday he was knee-high to a grasshopper. (If that phrase isn’t the territory of old folks, I don’t know what is.)

 

I’m okay with aging. Mostly. As long as I’m healthy and am getting around the way I want, I’m good. And because I see myself every day, I’m accustomed to my face. It’s those danged kids, though. I don’t see them every day. I only see them every once in a while. And when I do, they have grown. And they’ve matured and they’ve become more of themselves. I’m glad they get to do that and all, I just wish they’d slow the hell down.

 

Ah, well. No turning back. Forward only. If we’re lucky. If we’re very, very lucky.

 

Can We Talk?

 

 

Okay. Yesterday I shared some of my Rock Camp prep with you, and it was honest. I didn’t shy away from the details (stink factor, ahem), and that was good.

 

Cut to one day later, and I’m already dragging. A shopping stock-up was tackled and a little spreadsheet work was done. Some other prep work took place, along with my life, and y’all – I’m wiped! Now, I do know the danged heat played a part in that, as I got so hot on the un-air-conditioned ride home that my vision started to go wonky. It was unsettling, I tell ya.

 

I suppose I’m starting to wonder if I’m too old for this. The dark part of my brain desperately wants me to buy into that, and my body doesn’t do much to make me believe otherwise. (Getting over The Crud doesn’t help, either.) The little girls who attend Rock Camp are the same age each year. And they’re exactly as they should be. There are always fresh new volunteer faces each year, too. And though their ages vary, they’re awesome and young. Sure – there are loads of returning volunteers, like me, and we’re not immune to the clock’s ticking. But most of those gals are still younger than yours truly.

 

I don’t know. It’s a slippery slope, and I really don’t want to slide down face-first. I know that if I start wallowing in feeling old, I’ll sink. And I don’t want to sink. I love feeling positive. I love being sunshine-y.  I love believing the universe is conspiring in my favor. And I love Rock Camp. It’s just wearing me out, y’all. And I know those stairs at Rock Camp are coming. Dear Lord – hep me, um-kay?

Old

 

 

 

Recently I helped prepare dinner for women and children living in a transitional home in Los Angeles. These women come from every imaginable background, every imaginable circumstance. A particular group of volunteers – a group I’ve fallen in with – provide home-cooked food for this home once a month and it is greatly appreciated.

 

I had taken the food I’d prepared in a foil tray. In case there were leftovers, I wanted to be able to leave the food there without worrying about my dish. As the foil tray wasn’t the most sturdy, it was placed on one of my old cookie sheets – for support. I’ve had that cookie sheet over 25 years. It isn’t the prettiest kitchen goo-gaw, I admit. But it has supported far more than charitable goods through the years. It has held sweets and savories alike, and though it’s old and – I’ll just say it – ugly, it shows up when called upon.

 

Anyhoo – at the evening’s end, one of the volunteers turned to me and said, “You don’t want that cookie sheet back, do you?” I suppose she thought it was too pitiful to be of any future use. I think I must’ve looked at her like she’d sprouted an arm out of her neck. I said, “I absolutely do want that cookie sheet.” I picked it up and held it close, lest anyone think it was up for grabs. I was holding it close in the car, as we made our way back to our original meeting point. I kept it on the seat beside me as I drove home. Once there, I washed it and put it away – right next to the newer cookie sheets, where it waits until needed again.

 

I desperately wish I had some of Granny Vera’s old cooking gear. How I would love to think of her each time a particular skillet or chipped china cup might be pulled from a cabinet. But I have nothing from Granny’s kitchen. Aside from a few photos, I have nothing of Granny.

 

So my old gear will have to do. Lucky for me, it does quite well.